Leading Australian indigenous dance theatre group Bangarra will bring their spiritual performance to the Hanoi Opera House on March 2.

The performance kicks off a diverse programme launched by the Australian embassy in the capital that marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam.

Choreographed by Stephen Page and Frances Rings, Spirit features highlights of Bangarra’s internationally acclaimed repertoire, weaving storytelling, dance, theatre and music into an unforgettable theatrical experience. The group of 22 dancers is the largest Australian ensemble ever to visit Vietnam .

Bangarra is recognised nationally and internationally for distinctive dance theatre performances that combine the spirituality of traditional culture with modern story-telling. The group offers over 110 performances each year, both internationally and in Australia.

In addition to performances in Hanoi and HCM City on March 2 and 6, the Bangarra dancers will take part in workshops with the Vietnam Dance School and the Hanoi Youth Theatre.

Other programme highlights include an interactive science and education exhibition from Australia ’s National Science and Technology Centre, performances by jazz trio Elixir, an art exhibition and a cooking competition.

The science exhibition will take place in Hanoi from April 10-13 at the Hanoi University of Technology, in Da Nang from April 17-19 at Da Nang University and in HCM City from April 24-27 at RMIT University.

In May, the award-winning Elixir trio will perform in Radio Voice of Vietnam’s music halls in Hanoi and Da Nang.

And the indigenous visual arts exhibition, Message Stick: Indigenous Identity in Urban Australia, will be held in HCM City from May 23 to June 21.

A week-long cooking competition for children led by a Vietnamese-Australian chef will be held in HCM City.

“We hope this programme will create a platform for further exchanges between the two countries,” said Hugh Borrowman, the Australian ambassador.

The ambassador also presented an iPad to Doan Hai Tu, the HCM City resident who won the logo design contest. The logo Tu designed will be used at Australian Government events and in publications marking the anniversary.-VNA